Philament, an online peer-reviewed journal of postgraduate scholarship in the fields of cultural studies and the literary arts, now invites contributors for its third edition, to be themed off-beat.

Submissions should be sent to philament@arts.usyd.edu.au and must be received by Friday 9 January 2004. Earlier submissions are encouraged.

Included below are dictionary and textual ideas for how off-beat might be incorporated into a creative or academic piece. These lists are by no means exhaustive.

off-beat n. (music) An unaccented beat in a measure; Out of rhythm
adj. Not conforming to an ordinary type or pattern; unconventional; queer; avant-garde; eccentric; Bohemian; strange; aberrant; deviant; heteromorphic; anomalistic; preternatural; off-centre; unnatural; unusual; weird.

Textual/topic suggestions:
- texts which are themselves ‘offbeat’ or which deal with ‘offbeat’ themes.
- the Avant-Garde; for example, Surrealism and Dada. Theatre of the Absurd.
- texts which are in any way marginalised; for example, texts in dialect or vernacular languages such as Edward Kamau Braithwaite’s The Arrivants.
- texts which protest against any aspect of mainstream culture, like Bob Dylan’s songs.
- satiric or parodic texts. texts that subvert genre, literary convention or canonical texts; for example, feminist retellings of European fairy-tales, Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Derek Walcott’s Omeros or Margaret Atwood’s Good Bones.
- literary hoaxes, like the Helen Demidenko/Darville controversy or the Ern Malley affair.
- offbeat humour; for example in TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, CNNNN and Life Support.
- Beat poets.
- Jazz.
- alternative/indie culture, music, art, etc.
- fiction dealing with the paranormal or unexplainable.
- Queer Theory.

Also variations on offbeat.

beat: The area regularly covered by a reporter. A police circuit. A place where gay people go to meet sexual partners. So off beat could signify a departure from a standard or habitual location.

beat off:
To masturbate.
To repel, drive back or away.

Contributors are encouraged to submit self-contained pieces that meet any of the following criteria:

PART I: Creative
• Poetry
• Prose/narrative
• Short dramatic works

PART II: Critique
• Academic papers
- short articles up to 3,000 words
- long articles up to 8,000 words

PART III: Comment
• Reviews
• Conference reports

Please note:

Poetry submissions should be limited to 5 pieces of unspecified length.

Academic papers must conform to Chicago Manual of Style, Documentation Style I.

See site for details.

All submissions may be submitted electronically via email, CD or PC-formatted disk and must be in Microsoft Word or HTML format. Submissions must be accompanied by a brief biographical summary of the author, which should include information on the inspiration for or genesis of the submitted work.

Philament will only accept submissions that have not been previously published and are not under consideration elsewhere.

All copyright remains with contributors, but subsequent publication of works included in any Philament issue must acknowledge Philament as the site of initial publication.

For further information visit


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